April 24, 2012; Oakland, CA, USA; New Orleans Hornets power forward Gustavo Ayon (15) celebrates after a goaltending call awarding the winning points over the Golden State Warriors during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. The New Orleans Hornets defeated the Golden State Warriors 83-81. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE
The 2012 NBA Draft lottery went pretty well for the Indiana Pacers. For starters, the Pacers weren't in the lottery, drafting 26th this year after putting together the league's fifth-best record. The New Orleans Hornets won the lottery to get the top pick which should be Kentucky's Anthony Davis.
At least, Davis and the young Hornets won't be battling the Pacers for a playoff spot. It should also help New Orleans get Eric Gordon to buy into a nice contract extension regardless of the restricted free agent's other suitors.
The other key for the Pacers was that the Brooklyn Nets did not land a top three pick which they protected in a trade with Portland to land Gerald Wallace. Now the Nets' sixth pick is Portland's sixth pick. The Nets now have to find a way to combine Dwight Howard and Deron Williams or else remain an also ran in the East. No easy task.
As for problems rising in the East, the Washington Wizards landed the third pick which I assume they will use on not only a talented player who can play and act like a pro. Cleveland ends up with the fourth pick as they continue to fast track toward a contender to make the playoffs.
Here's how the lottery left the order at the top of the draft.
- New Orleans
- Portland (via Brooklyn)
- Golden State
- New Orleans (via Minnesota)